Why a Vacation Might Be Just What the Doctor Ordered

Feeling you need a recharge? A vacation might be just what you need to boost your physical and mental wellbeing.

Photo by Kampus Production

While traveling can be stressful at times — especially with all the flight delays and cancellations of late — new research shows that is has many health benefits as well. According to Everyday Health, traveling has been shown to boost your physical and mental well-being.

Here are five reasons why traveling can be good for you:

  1. Travel Makes You Happier — There have been several studies linking happiness to travel. Researchers found that people who spend time in a variety of places report more positive emotions than those who don’t venture out as much. Another study revealed that people who travel regularly report being about 7 percent happier than those who travel rarely or not at all.
  2. Travel Can Lower Your Risk of Depression — Again, the studies speak for the virtues of travel. One found that people who took vacations more frequently reported less stress and depression. A therapist attributes travel to helping patients with depression by getting them out of the rut of their everyday lives.
  3. Travel Makes You More Creative — Adapting to different cultures while traveling helps foster creativity. One study found that living abroad can facilitate a process called multicultural learning, which allows you to solve problems in new ways, increase your awareness of your surroundings, and reduce rigidity — all of which contribute to creativity. Maybe there’s something to be said for all those college students who take a semester abroad?
  4. Travel Is Good For Your Relationships — Travel brings you closer to your travel companions, whether that be friends or family. You might even interpret travel as a form of couple’s therapy because one study found that couples who vacation together are more cohesive and flexible as a unit — and that holds true even after they get home. Researchers say the more positive vacation experiences you share with your partner the better your day-to-day functioning will be post-vacation. 
  5. Travel Relieves Stress — Long-term or chronic stress can negatively impact both your mental and physical health. Fortunately, studies show even a short getaway can lower your overall stress levels. One therapist believes this is because travel increases your connection to the present moment, which is similar to the practice of mindfulness.

Science shows that taking a vacation has multiple potential benefits for your physical and mental health. Do you agree? Message The Seniors Trust on Facebook or Twitter and let us know if you think taking a vacation is good for you or does it make you feel more stressed out than staying home?